It’s not every K-pop group that breeds fish in their communal flat, but Bae173 have bonded over their aquatic pets and regularly update fans about their status. Although still rookies, they bring an excited, exploratory energy that they channel into their music and careers. It’s been a long road to the formation of Bae173 – the band’s name combines an acronym for “Before Anyone Else”, the number one for perfection and the “angel number” 73 – with several members having taken part in other K-pop groups and elimination TV shows in the past few years. The nine-member group eventually came together in November 2020 with the release of their first EP, Intersection: Spark. Following the release of their second EP, Intersection: Trace, on April 8, the band sat down with the Post via video call to discuss their music, career and unique habits. Q: What’s the inspiration behind your Interception album series? How do your first two albums and singles connect? Dohyon: Basically, they’re connected but different. It’s us trying to show our spectrum of music. Our debut song Crush On You has an exciting vibe and it’s about falling in love. But for our first comeback, we had to break up and talk about how we missed love. We were kind of worried because it was something we weren’t really used to doing. But apparently a lot of fans like the song, so we’re glad. Rising stars of K-pop: Cherry Bullet talk about their first mini album J-Min: I think both sides fit us really well. For this album, we want to show that we have grown up a little bit. We want to show our growth. For Loved You , people go through break-ups all the time and go through mixed emotions. We want people to be able to say they are OK, even while going through that process. Dohyon: We’re still trying and working on it, but I think we have members that can show different kinds of genres. We’re a group that can do this and that. As we make more music, we want to show many different sides to our performance. [Pauses] The problem is that some of us are kind of sexy and some of us are kind of cute, so we have to work on what kind of song, what kind of genre can show all of our skills. What’s a particular lyric for fans to pay attention to from the album? Muzin: The line that J-Min wrote in the hip-hop track #Trace: “I will show my colour so please watch me”. Dohyon: #Trac e is a bit different from other tracks on the album, because J-Min and I wrote the raps, and we really want to show more of that in the next album. Junseo: In Greenlight , “No red light / go over yellow light to the green light”. Rising stars of K-pop: Cravity confident of a big year ahead In the music video for We Loved , there’s a big leopard. Do you guys have any favourite animals? Hangyul: I like red pandas. I think it’s cute when they’re angry. Junseo: I like Doberman dogs because I want to raise them later in life. I’ve also heard I look like one. Also, I’m raising an axolotl [a salamander known as a “walking fish”]. Dohyon: We have an aquarium in our house. It’s huge. We have almost 80 species. Bit: I brought it from my home. Dohyon: He’s probably the most professional K-pop idol in the fish genre because he’s raised fish since he was young. And thanks to him, all of our members are addicted. Some of us bought turtles, some of us bought shrimps. Munzi: He’s a pink-haired ocean king. His hair looks like seaweed. Rising stars of K-pop – ONF talk about art, new album ONF: My Name How do you deal with tough times? Hangyul: I’ve been on survival shows, and I just think, “this is the last chance”. Cause I don’t want to do it again. Dohyon: I tend to regret many of my decisions. So when I face that time, I think, “My life is programmed, and this is how it’s supposed to be”. And if I think that way, it’s OK. It had to be this way, no matter what. This is my life. This is what it’s supposed to be. So let’s not regret. Junseo: Whenever I go through a tough time, I try not to think about it being a difficult time. I convince myself it’s going to be a good opportunity and cheer myself up like that. Aside from Bit, does anyone have any unique hobbies or hidden talents? Doha: Dohyon. When he goes into the house, he just lies down and goes to sleep and kinda shakes or punches his hands. Youngseo: He wears a character hat when he sleeps, featuring the animated character Jjanggu. Hangyul: I lie down and look at the ceiling, and consider the patterns. [ #제이민 ] 저는 왜 이러고 자고 있을까요,,,,😂😂 #BAE173 #비에이이173 #JMIN pic.twitter.com/XCaeSGh9mf — BAE173 Member (@BAE173_member) April 23, 2021 Which artists inspired you to pursue this career while growing up? J-Min : Big Bang. We Loved reminds me of my favourite songs from Big Bang. Youngseo: BTS ! Junseo: Big Bang. Doha: Astro and Monsta X. Bit: Do you know Kim Kyung-ho? He’s a rocker. When I was eight years old, I watched television with my mum and he was singing and headbanging. Since then, I started singing. If there’s a chance, I’ll go be a rocker. Dohyon: I was a big fan of the Beatles. Cause in my international school they made us study about the Beatles. When I got my homework, I [sighs]. I started researching and realised they were really cool and they inspired me. I was playing music, like piano, and it made me think to be a singer. I’m a Paul [McCartney] guy a little bit. J-Min: I inspired by hip-hop artists like Beenzino, Jay Park and DPR Live. Rising stars of K-pop: Victon set their stall out with first full album What are your goals for 2021? Hangyul: Not wearing any masks. Junseo: We want to win an award. Bit: To perform at [year-end] award shows. Dohyon: This year I think we just can go slowly, walk our own path, practising and grow diligently. What’s one word or phrase you want people to think when they hear your name? Bit: Rainbow. Dohyun: “Of course, it’s Bae173!” Also, that we have a lot of charms. [ #BAE173 ] 오늘도 잊지 못할 추억 만들어준 우리 엘스들!! 고맙고 항상 사랑해요! 굿밤!! #비에이이173 pic.twitter.com/0k931gZqdO — BAE173 Member (@BAE173_member) April 16, 2021 What colours match each of you? Bit: Pink! Muzin: Black. Junseo: Yellow. Hangyul: Neon [green]. Dohyon: J-Min is blue. J-Min: No, I’m white! Youngseo: Blond. Doha: Sky blue. Yoojun: I’m brown boy. Dohyun: I’m green. K-pop boy band T1419 dream of becoming the voice of youth Is there anything else you want people to know about you? J-Min: This interview, years from now, we want to look back at it like the first interview that they think of us when we become huge in like five years. We hope fans can look back and see what we were like as rookies. Dohyon: We’re really trying hard and we want to thank all the support we’ve been receiving lately. We’re going to keep trying hard and hopefully achieve our goals.